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Taking Your Baby Home
by Robert M. Selig, M.D., FAAP & Joann C. Cozza, D.O., FAAP

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16: Do I Wake My Baby Between Midnight And 7 AM For A Feeding?

NO. If you are lucky, your baby will be kind to you and let you sleep. If your baby does wake up, it does not always mean that he/she is hungry. Some babies will fall back to sleep after a few minutes of crying. If your baby continues to cry, you may be able to comfort him/her without a feeding. Try using a pacifier, rubbing your baby's back or picking him/her up briefly. Try not to overstimulate your baby or you may be up playing for several hours.

Some babies will need to be fed in the middle of the night before going back to sleep. However, do not be surprised one night when your baby falls back to sleep without needing a feeding.

 

17: Does My Baby Need Water?

No. Breast milk and formula are largely made up of water and provide your baby with the proper amount of liquids. Water will not hurt your baby and may be offered if breast milk or formula are not available. Water can be used to help quiet your baby until the next feeding. Too much water will decrease your baby’s breast milk or formula intake. 4-6 ounces per day will not cause any problem.

The directions on the formula cans may instruct you to boil the water when

mixing with the formula. It is not necessary to boil the water unless you are using well water.

If you have any questions about the need for water, talk with your baby’s doctor.

 

18: Pacifiers

All babies have a normal need to suck (sucking reflex). Some babies are more demanding than others and take up more of their parents' time.

Most babies will normally lose their sucking reflex by 6 months of age. At this time, your baby may stop using the pacifier. However, it is not uncommon for a baby to continue using a pacifier after 6 months of age.

It is not uncommon for a baby to be fussy after finishing a normal feeding. This fussiness may be interpreted by parents as a sign that their baby is still hungry. Your baby may calm down simply by being held or when offered a pacifier.

There are many shapes and sizes of pacifiers. Pacifiers can be introduced to your baby while in the hospital. Offer it when your baby is calm, rather than waiting for a fussy period. It may be necessary to try different sizes until you find one your baby likes.

 

19: Are My Baby's Bowel Movements Normal?

Your baby's initial bowel movements will have a tarry consistency (blackish-green color). Over the first few days after birth, as your baby begins feeding, the color of the bowel movement will change to a green, brown, or yellow color. The consistency depends on whether your baby is being breast-fed or bottle-fed.

Breast-fed babies tend to have looser and more frequent bowel movements. Once your baby is nursing well, he/she may have one bowel movement with each nursing (6 8 times/24 hours). The consistency resembles watery, scrambled eggs. Your baby's pattern may change and occur as infrequently as every 2- days. As long as the consistency remains soft, this is normal.

Bottle-fed babies tend to have a more formed bowel movement. Initially, your baby may have very frequent bowel movements, but this will slow down to 1-4 bowel movements per 24 hours.

 

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